Wednesday, 5 January 2011


I had my first MRI scan today. I was wholly unprepared. I even went on my bike which was ok but when they sat me down and explained what was about to happen I remember thinking 'I hope I'm able to cycle home!' What I hadn't realised is that they were to insert a canula in my arm to be able to flush contrast medium through my blood so they could image the blood supply to the fibroid. I am quite a baby when it comes to needles so I felt a wave of anxiety and nausea and asked if I could lie down while that was being done. They were very kind to me and said of course but then I had to be physically wheeled into the machine room, strapped down and this huge metal cage put over my abdomen. My arms were raised above my head and then with a gentle motion pulled inside the huge doughnut loop of the machine so that I was completely enclosed. They had given me headphones playing classical music to dim out the loud whirring and clicking of the machine and at various points during the next half hour they communicated to me what was going on. It was still a weird, surreal and disembodying experience. And, apparently I have to have another couple, 1 after the procedure and 1 3 months later. I guess the subsequent ones won't be as bad as I'll know what to expect. I had to really try not to open my eyes as when I did it was a bit scary. There is only the 2 strip lights above your head within the body of the machine to illuminate your surroundings, and if you are at all claustrophobic I imagine you would struggle. They give you a bulb to squeezee if you need to attract attention. Certainly they would not hear you if you shouted as they are in another room. The whole thing took about 45 minutes. I will now wait to see what the results of that are at my consultant appointment in 2 weeks time. The wheels grind slowly on..

I am so glad to be out, so grateful for fresh air and sunshine (not that there is any at the moment). My thoughts turn to people I know who've had to go through this and there hasn't been a happy outcome, where perhaps it confirmed a terminal diagnosis. I feel very sad and contemplative therefore. I am also very tired, the stress is exhausting! I don't doubt that I'm in a good hospital, I've worked there, it's a large teaching hospital and know we are very lucky to have free medical care via the NHS. The treatment I'm having would probably have cost best part of £20,000 if I was paying privately. That would have cleared me out completely and I would be like many people in the States who have no insurance. Again, a reason to be glad.

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